CRM Is The Most Popular SaaS Application in All Three countries
Companies in France and the UK are significantly ahead of those in Germany in terms of adoption of software as a service (SaaS) applications, according to a recent survey* by Gartner, Inc. However, Gartner said that the responses from German organisations suggest that the difference in adoption levels will shrink if users follow through on their plans for SaaS adoption in 2009.
Seventy one per cent of French survey respondents said that their organisation currently uses SaaS for enterprise applications, compared to 68 per cent in the UK and 45 per cent in Germany. The survey also looked at actual levels of SaaS use compared with the number of employees an organisation could have using SaaS. The results showed higher levels of usage and adoption were indicated in France.
The survey findings on the length of time that SaaS applications have been in use across the three countries further indicated that France has a slight lead in terms of adoption. Only 4 per cent of French respondents said that they had used SaaS applications for less than a year, compared with 17 per cent in the UK and 21 per cent in Germany. This runs slightly counter to the traditional assumption that the UK is more advanced in terms of SaaS adoption.
“We believe that North American vendors have enjoyed greater success in the UK because less effort is required to localise products and sales and marketing strategies,” said Chris Pang, principal research analyst at Gartner. “However, other European countries are also willing adopters of SaaS applications and that international vendors not already active in the French and German markets should certainly investigate opportunities for growth here.”
Overall, customer relationship management (CRM) is the most popular SaaS application across the three countries, ahead of enterprise resource planning (ERP); content communications and collaboration (CCC); and supply chain management (SCM). Gartner said that CRM’s popularity is likely a result of the media exposure of high-profile vendors such as salesforce.com. In addition, CRM SaaS applications tend to cover a wider range of functions in common processes, such as sales automation, marketing automation and customer service support whereas SaaS applications such as ERP, CCC and SCM tend to focus on specific areas of business process support such as expense management, talent management, recruitment, web conferencing and procurement.
“While there are many more vendors offering SaaS for applications other than CRM, their media exposure has generally been less conspicuous,” said Mr Pang. “Nevertheless, the penetration and use of ERP, CCC and SCM applications should not be underestimated. Many businesses already use some of these applications within a part of their organisation, and vendors looking to sell SaaS applications should find that most businesses are now more open to using SaaS than they were five years ago.”
Regarding motivations for using or considering using SaaS in 2009, respondents were united in choosing SaaS primarily because they considered it more cost-effective than an on-premises application. Other reasons included ease of deployment and internal resource constraints. More than 50 per cent of the survey respondents saw SaaS as a viable alternative to an existing on-premises solution and 40 per cent saw SaaS as a complementary addition to their IT environments.
“The survey results clearly indicate that adoption of SaaS application software in three of the largest country markets in Europe continues to evolve and that opportunities for SaaS application software vendors are still present,” said Mr Pang. “End-user organisations will focus even harder on TCO (total cost of ownership), return on investment and rapidity of deployment issues in the current recessionary environment. The good news is that, to varying degrees, SaaS can confer advantages in each of these areas.”
Note to editors:
*Gartner surveyed 99 IT and business leaders in France, Germany and the UK in the third quarter of 2008 as part of a larger global survey to better understand plans for software as a service in 2009.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report “User Survey Analysis: Usage Plans for SaaS Application Software, France, Germany and the U.K. 2009.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=894412&subref=simplesearch
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